Today’s guests on What Cathy Read Next are the husband and wife writing team, Anne Rothman-Hicks and Ken Hicks. I’m delighted they have agreed to answer some questions about their latest book, Weave A Murderous Web and their approach to writing in general.
About the Book
Publisher’s description: No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support. Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dads hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous. Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.
Praise for Weave A Murderous Web
“The husband-wife team of Rothman-Hicks and Hicks has again produced a fast-paced, engaging story… An enjoyable romp involving a shady attorney and the mob that should make readers look forward to the next Jane Larson caper.” (Kirkus)
“The action is breathtaking and the writing beautiful…The plot is well thought out and masterfully executed, laced with numerous surprises to keep readers turning the pages.” (Ruffina Oserio, Readers’ Favorite)
“Weave a Murderous Web is an enthralling murder mystery. It gets your heart pounding with action and passion, while simultaneously entangling your mind with its ambiguity. …As the plot progresses, the intensity heightens, catapulting you into a surprising twist, then plummets you into a sudden, yet satisfying end.” (Cheryl E. Rodriguez, Readers’ Favorite)
“…A classic whodunit with classic New York City characters.” (Gimme That Book)
“Witty dialogue, supported by great writing and some understated humour, makes this book not only a must-read – but also a darned good one!” (Marta Tandori, Readers’ Favorite)
Format: ebook Publisher: Melange Books No. of pages:
Publication: 8th March 2016 Genre: Mystery
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Find Weave A Murderous Web on Goodreads
Interview: Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks, authors of Weave A Murderous Web
Without giving too much away, can you tell us a bit about Weave A Murderous Web?
Jane Larson is an attorney for a high-powered New York City law firm who specializes in going to court for large commercial clients. She is very good at her job. One day, in a lull between assignments, her friend asks her to handle a divorce case as a favour. Thinking that it will be over very quickly, Jane takes the case, only to find that it involves hidden assets, murder, drugs and cover-ups that put her life and the lives of her clients in danger.
Weave A Murderous Web is the second book featuring US lawyer, Jane Larson (the first being Praise Her, Praise Diana). What made you decide to give Jane another case to investigate?
Jane is a favourite character of ours. She is smart, fearless and has a sense of humour about the craziness that life brings with it, especially in New York City. She loves the underdog and works very hard for her clients.
How did you come up with the idea for the character of Jane Larson? Why did you decide to make her a lawyer?
We wanted to write about a woman main character who was strong, but still subject to the vulnerabilities that make us all human. Ken is a lawyer, so that gave us access to the way law works and helped with courtroom scenes. It also allows for a lot of flexibility in the plot as far as what the main character can do and how she fills her time while a mystery or thriller develops.
Weave A Murderous Web is a mystery with lots of twists and turns. What is the main challenge when writing a book like this?
People want to be fooled, and it is not that easy to do in a way that keeps the story believable and also provides an ending that surprises the reader. We are thankful that so far the vast majority of readers have not been able to figure out how our books will end.
You are a husband and wife writing team. How does that work in practice?
There is a tremendous amount of give and take. Anne will work on a section and Ken will go over it and the manuscript is literally passed back and forth until both feel it is ready. Writers are always looking for feedback, and the system we have guarantees feedback on a daily basis.
Do you have a special place to write or any writing rituals?
Anne generally works sitting in a chair in our living room. Ken works at a computer in the bedroom.
Which other writers do you each admire?
Ken and Anne both enjoy Charles Dickens and Kurt Vonnegut. Ken also enjoys William Faulkner and Agatha Christie. Among Anne’s other favourites are Colleen McCullough and John Fowles.
You have published books in many different genres. Do you have a favourite genre and, if so, why?
Generally, we choose the genre that is best for the story that we have imagined. If pressed, we would say our favourite genre is mystery. It is a format in which there is a well-defined plot, but within the plot structure we are also able to comment on life and society in general. All of our books have a secondary meaning over and above the plot.
What are your favourite and least favourite parts of the writing process?
The favourite part of writing is getting good reviews from readers. The worst is getting bad reviews.
What are you working on next? Another case for Jane Larson?
Yes. Jane has many more adventures in store for her.
Thank you, Anne & Ken, for answering my questions. I’m sure fans of the series will be thrilled to learn there is another case for Jane Larson on the way.
About the Authors
Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks have been collaborating on books for forty-six years. Their first joint effort was a student project while Anne was at Bryn Mawr College and Ken attended Haverford. Since then, they have written over twenty books together. They are members of International Thriller Writers. They live and work in New York City, where many of their books are set.
Their Jane Larson series of mystery/thrillers involves a high-powered New York City attorney with a penchant for getting involved in situations that she would be better off leaving alone. These novels have been praised by reviewers for their gritty portrayals of city life, lively characters, fast action, surprise endings and highly polished prose. Jane is cynical and rebellious, but she finds herself drawn to the simple life her deceased mother lived as an attorney who served women unable to afford legal services. The first two books in the series are Weave A Murderous Web and Praise Her, Praise Diana, both published by Melange Books, LLC. A third novel, Mind Me, Milady, will be published in early 2017.
Connect with Anne & Ken